Sept 02, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government is trying to encourage greater use of the sea surrounding the island for transport purposes and has introduced a new tariff for cargo moved by coastal shipping.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials said the aim is to lower transport costs, encourage coastal shipping and reduce traffic jams on the clogged main roads.
The new tariff for local cargo is for export cargo originating from remote locations away from Colombo to which the government is trying to encourage industry to move in order to generate employment.
Exporters who load cargo on to short-sea coastal vessels at minor ports around the island and export it through Colombo can make use of the new tariff.
The new SLPA tariff is a total stevedoring charge of 200 dollars for a twenty-foot container on imports and exports through Colombo port but originating from or destined to minor ports.
“The idea is to encourage the use of minor ports as another way of exporting cargo,” said an SLPA official.
“It will also boost coastal shipping services.”